The official PASS Blog is where you’ll find the latest blog posts from PASS community members and the PASS Board. Contributors share their thoughts and discuss a wide variety of topics spanning PASS and the data community.

What About PASS Summit?

Over the last few weeks, it’s been amazing to see our community come together to lend a helping hand; whether that’s by giving advice on home office set ups, sharing your favorite online learning resources, or simply setting up a virtual social hour to stay connected with friends around the world. It’s moments like these that make me so proud to be a part of this community.

We know that these are challenging times for everyone. The disruptions caused by COVID-19 have meant that you’ve had to rapidly change and adapt to your new realities, and re-evaluate your plans for the future. We also know that this causes a great deal of uncertainty.

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SQLSaturday Founders Celebrate SQLSaturday #1000

In celebration of publishing SQLSaturday #1000, we asked the three original SQLSaturday founders: Andy Warren, Brian Knight, and Steve Jones to share their thoughts and reflections on this incredible milestone.
 

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M and DAX in Power BI, When to Use Which Language?

If you are planning on working with Power BI, then there are at least two data manipulation languages you will need to learn: M and DAX. The problem is that it isn’t always clear which one you should be using. At times, these can seem a bit redundant – why do we have two languages?

Historically, M and DAX came from two different Excel add-ins: Power Query and Power Pivot. Originally, they served two different purposes and were only loosely connected. Later on, they were combined together with HTML5-based visual rendering to create what we know as Power BI. This means that these tools are going to have some overlap in functionality.

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Leverage Power BI Automation Using Power Automate and API

Introduction

For a Power BI tenant’s administrator, it's a challenging task to admin and maintain the environment. Many changes are taking place every day. New users are added, workspaces are created/deleted, datasets are refreshed, etc. How can we keep everything under control? What’s needed is automation. Through the joint use of APIs and Power Automate, it’s possible to leverage some common tasks automatically.

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WorkFlows – What Are They? “The Book Definition”

WorkFlows – What Are They? – “The Book Definition”

Windows PowerShell Workflows are designed for scenarios where these attributes are required:

  • Long-running activities.
  • Repeatable activities.
  • Frequently executed activities.
  • Running activities in parallel across one or more machines.
  • Interruptible activities that can be stopped and re-started, which includes surviving a reboot of the system against which the workflow is executing.

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Power BI Dataflows – Enabling BI Professionals and Data Scientists

Recently, I was reading an excellent article titled “Agile Digital Transformation for Data-Driven CEOs with Power BI” by Jen Stirrup (t|b) on why Power BI is a valuable tool for data driven CEOs to change the culture of their organizations. One of my favorite features to come to Power BI is Power BI dataflows and I believe it will improve the data management and usage in organizations.

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Parameter Sniffing and Performance

If you were using SQL Server in 2008, you would have heard about parameter sniffing at that time. If you are using SQL Server now, I am very confident that you may have encountered this topic as it is quite common in the SQL Server environment. Parameter Sniffing has been an evergreen topic for discussion for SQL Server Performance Tuning experts.

Before we continue talking more about parameter sniffing, let us understand what parameter sniffing is and how it affects SQL Server performance.

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Design for the Future, Not the Past!

Every organization that manages data fights the same battle on a regular basis. Should systems be architected quickly to solve a current problem, or should they be built to withstand the test of time?

This question sounds like a no-brainer. Who wouldn’t want to build systems that scale, are well-documented, easy to maintain, and can manage the inevitably massive torrent of data that will flood it in the future?

As is often the case in software development, theory and reality differ greatly. Oftentimes building a system or feature correctly the first time is seen as expensive and time-consuming. Deadlines are real and they often influence design as much as the features themselves.  If you have ever worked on a project where the goal was an MVP (minimum viable product), then you understand how this can feel!

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PASS Regional Mentor Program Re-Launched

As a community-centric global organization, PASS continuously strives to engage with our 300,000+ members around the world – and PASS Regional Mentors help to facilitate these connections. For those who are not already familiar, the PASS Regional Mentor Program supports a team of passionate volunteers who are committed to the engagement, mentorship, and support of PASS Community Leaders and members of their respective regions across the globe. This program has been in place for several years, and it was time to re-visit the eligibility requirements, nomination & selection process, term duration, and responsibilities of the role. Over the past several months, the PASS HQ Community Team has worked closely with members of the PASS Board to re-develop the program, as well as collaborated with existing Regional Mentors for their feedback.

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Being a Woman in the SQL Community

Read original blog post here.

In celebration of Women’s History Month starting next week, I was asked to write this blog about my experiences as a woman in the SQL Community, and it really got me thinking. At first, I thought I should be very politically correct and only talk about the great stuff and hype up all wonderful experiences I’ve had but then I thought that wouldn’t give a true picture. So, I am writing this as openly and honestly as I can. Here it goes.

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